The rumors about Harry Kane’s fitness and injury status continues to snowball during this international break. Reports came out that Kane was carrying an injury sustained in England training ahead of the friendly against Wales, and magnified after Kane started on the bench and was a 2nd half substitute in England’s 2-1 Nations League win over Belgium.
As an extra dash of spice to this cauldron of football related animosity, Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho had seemed to advise England boss Gareth Southgate to take care of his international players, which also includes Harry Winks and Eric Dier, after a grueling stretch of club matches. It led to some to speculate that there was a budding feud between club manager and international manager.
Today, Southgate tried to take some of the heat out of the situation, denying in a press conference that Kane was ever injured, but merely unfit and suffering from “muscle fatigue” in the first week of England training.
“I don’t really understand the story. He would have started the last game but did not have enough training time and was fine during the game, so is fit and available.
“I did not understand the stories being run and where that is coming from because they are not the conversations we have been having with Spurs medically. It is something that is not really affecting us in camp. He has been fully fit since the end of last week, just before the last game. He has not had an injury, he was feeling muscle soreness which can happen to athletes but there was no injury at any point.”
Southgate also flatly denied that he was putting the welfare of England’s Nations League campaign over that of the players under his charge.
“We do not risk players, I have been a player and my priority is the welfare of players. We have never risked a player, have never lost a player through an error in our training loading and we pride ourselves in looking after the player.
“We want them fit, we want them as sharp as possible for the games and our issue with Harry before Sunday’s game was about being able to perform at the highest level. Now he has got an additional couple of days training in and it is not even an issue.”
After the Belgium match, Southgate had seemed to indicate that Kane was likely to begin the final match against Denmark on the bench, as he did against Belgium. These comments suggest otherwise. His comments are a pretty strong indication from Southgate that Kane is now fully fit and could very well start on Wednesday. That would be good news for England fans who want to see their team do as well as possible, but perhaps not so good news for Spurs fans who would rather see Kane save his energy for the London derby against West Ham on Sunday.